12 October 2010

Knitted Imprint.

The widows, sisters, lovers and mothers of men that have been lost during Peru's internal conflict between the Mao-inspired rebels of the Shining Path rebels and state forces in the 1980s and 90s have gotten together to knit a 'scarf of hope'. [BBC article:]

"Each one is knitting a message or epitaph to their loved one the size of an A4 sheet of page which will form part of an enormous scarf which, it is hoped, will reach a kilometre in length. 

It is being called the Scarf of Hope and it aims to be more than just a symbol of Peru's estimated 15,000 "disappeared" but a physical reminder that in the majority of cases their relatives live on without ever knowing how they died nor where to find their remains. 

"It's like a piece of memory," says Marina Garcia Burgos, a Lima-based photographer who was inspired to initiate the project with two colleagues while working in Ayacucho. "Each woman chooses the colour and the knit of her panel. As well as embroidering the loved one's name, some also sew on a piece of their clothing or a photograph."

It's a collective work of art with a great deal of emotional power behind it. It's probably one of the few truly sincere attempts at creating something guiness record worthy for a genuine, heartfelt purpose. In Peru, the indentification of the dead is often aided by the knit of the clothing the person wears. Almost like a secret code women plant on their men before they go into the world.


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